Tuesday, December 9, 2014

DIE Alone: Arduin and the Howling Tower

I decieded to go even old-schooler with my next DIE Alone adventure and break out an old Arduin adventure: The Howling Tower.

Problem is, I know next to nothing about Arduin and a lot of the monsters listed are unique to the game. Luckily, others have done some of the work for me and I've found
Jeff's Game Blog
Fire in the Jungle
Hall of RPG Oddities
and I also found this in the Way Back Machine! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Haunted Sword for Sale!

A family in Texas is selling their haunted heirloom for the low, low price of $150!
Buy it Today! 
That I desperately want this sword is a given. That the picture above is an unforgettable NPC just waiting to happen is also a given.

However, it has also gotten me started thinking about the idea of 'magic items'. Ever notice that no book character ever has more than one, yet every D&D character above level 3 is walking around with at least a magic weapon,  a suit of armour, maybe a ring or two and an extra large bottomless purse, just in case? Plus they can head down to the local temple or magic shop to pick up an extra potion or two, or maybe an enchanted koala because it that would be fun at parties.

This is the Loot aspect of the game, and I get it, collecting cool and powerful stuff is fun. It also reeks of Monty Haul* campaigning and video-game mentality neither of which I don't enjoy that much. As a result, I am going to skew DIE Alone away from magic items. Not sure of all the details yet, but I have now made it a hard rule that magic-items cannot be 'bought' in-town.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Nightmare Chair

The party opens a door to find a small room with only a single only a dusty chair, surrounded by nothing but old bones and dust... surely one of the tired adventurers will want to have a seat?

This cursed artifact was created by ancient Phobicnauts to draw forth the deepest and most terrifying fears of their victims. When seated in the chair, the victim will firmly believe that their greatest nightmare is unfolding in front of them. This nightmare rises in shadow form around the chair, and will torment them endlessly. Those not seated in the chair will only see a change in their companion, changing from sudden rigidness to powerful screams and thrashing, though no amount of conversation will persuade the person in the chair that the shadows are not real. Furthermore, touching bare skin with the victim may cause the would be rescuer to see fearsome shadows of their own.

The person seated in the chair can not, or will not willing stand up and will react with violence if forced. Destroying the chair has a 25% of doing severe physiological trauma to the person seated.

Caverns of Questemundo: Post Wrap

In Search of the Unknown is about as generic old-school as it gets. The dungeon has no logical
Our hosts, Rogain and Tadalafil in happier times.
design or layout except to mess with diligently mapping players; rooms have random effects and it was written a long time before 'dungeon ecology' was even a consideration. I framed the caverns as a B&B for two retired adventurers that failed when they tunneled into the 'Downlow' cavern complex. It added some fun, and even some context to things like the random taxidermy room ("The Sportsman Suite"), the Room of Pools ("A jacuzzi to suit every lifeform!"), the large kitchens and even the irritating opulence that usually turned out to be illusionary.  It was fun for a trial run, but I can't see myself breaking out the adventure again even for nostalgia's sake.

I'm happier with how the DIE Alone rules played out. My novice hero, Thakko even came close to death twice; once saved by the use of his BS Point to re-roll a damage that would have killed him, and secondly when he avoided become a zombie on a lucky roll. He returned to Onderdunk twice more to be Healed at the Temple and stock up on Prescription Leeches.

My next step is going to be to write down the stats of the monsters encountered so far into a file so that it is consistent in further adventures. 
Taking an idea that I am unabashedly stealing from Sooga Games marvelous game, Into the Odd, I am basing DIE Alone experience on Quests Completed. Individual achievements in-game are rewarded with BS points, but only a successfully Completed (or survived) Quest awards the player with a point that can be added anywhere on the Hero's Sheet. I am also going to try another idea for Skill rolls.

Once I've drawn up some fresh Things to Kill and fleshed out items available for purchase, Thakko's next challenge is going to be Arduin Dungeon #2, the Howling Tower

Friday, November 28, 2014


Chickensauruses are giant, unstoppable vegetarian predators that can be found close to civilized regions. They have been known to ravage entire villages in their unending and devastating search for corn and other crops on which to feast. 

If defeated however, they are said to be delicious. 

MSG: 8.4.6
Peek +8
Kick +10
Wing Buffet +5
Feathers -8

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Midas Spiders

Why is this spider encased in gold?
I realized this afternoon that Gold Spiders are very boring and attempting to come up with a semi-plausible explination as to why a spider might be encased in gold was cheeseball at best. So it was tie to get a little more old-school.

Midas Spiders
Thought to have been created by some ancient, avarice witch, the venom of this extremely rare arachnid can transform those it bits into a statue of solid gold! Naturally, it is extemely sought after and even the rumour of a Midas Spider can send adventuerers flooding into the area seeking the prize of a lifetime.

Naturally, finding and keeping a Midas Spider is extremely difficult. They tend to live only in the deepest and darkest reaches of the underworld. They are extremely vicious and will attack almost anything that crosses their path as their venom has been known to bring down (and transmorgify) full grown landsharks, bearowls and even a behemoth.

If captured, the spider will thrash itself against its container until it escapes, or dies. Only a few are said to know the secrets of catching a Midas Spider, and they are most certainly not telling. Still, most adventurers who are successful in searching out this rarest of spiders can usually be content in carrying home a full golden statue of a team-mate or follower.

The Caverns of Questemundo: A Day in Town

Oh sure, it looks peaceful now.
Thakko made it to the town of Onderdunk wounded, but satisfied at his first successful looting. With thirty two lucre in his pocket, he first sought out the local medical professionals.

Temple of Helminth
Patron god of adventurers and other fools.
Being healed by Friar Jabrony cost him three coins. He also decided to stock up on some of the many herbs, balms and other ointments for sale to those who venture deep into the Downlow Realms.
-Placebo Potion. Heals one Condition.
-3 Prescription Leeches. Each Heals one Wound level.

He the sought a place to lay his weary head

The Meat and Shield Inn
 A tavern run by Grunth the retired warrior. A simple bed and a warm meal cost him 2 lucre. He had an ale, but his adventures had taken their toil, and he soon found himself feeling ill, and it was another day before he felt up to venturing out into the town.
A lot of good adventures started here.

The Nine Foot Pole
A store that catered to looters, run by a gruff and one-armed man named Ruffus.There he purchased
-Thief Tool: Reduces any Trap roll by one Difficulty. One use only
-A sack of 6 Ironcakes. Difficult to eat, but even harder to digest. Can eat one per day. In a pinch, can also be burned as a firelog.
-A rusted iron bracers (Armour now -2).

All this left young Thakko with only one lucre left. This he decides to keep for luck and sets out on the next leg of his adventure. 
Game Notes: Equipment List
I realize that I now need a standard equipment list. Something I can pull from. Rather than spend a lot of time on this right now, I’ll add to it as I go.

-Placebo Potions (cures one Condition per dose) 3Ł
-Prescription Leech (Heal one Wound per leech). 2Ł

Thief Tool: Reduces any Trap roll by one Difficulty. One use only. 5Ł
Ironcakes. Eat one per day. 2 for 1Ł
Rusted Bracers 3Ł

Poor                      2Ł for a common bed or straw mat. 1Ł for stable or floor.
                                2Ł for a meal of hard cheese, harder bread and a dip of the communal pickled egg jar.
                                1Ł per mug of ale.
Average               4Ł for a straw, but clean bed in common room. 5Ł for a private room.
                                5Ł for a decent meal, includes one ale. +1Ł for a better meal.
                                2Ł for an ale, grog or wine.
High                       10Ł+ for a private room.
                                10Ł for a good meal and two drinks. +5Ł for a small feast
                                Booze ranges from 3Ł for ale, to pretty much anything requested.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Two Quick LEGO Links

This is a great MOC by Stuart Delahay. I prefer to think that the Oni is just giving the lost hero some directions.
Oni-ni-kanabo, by Stuart Delahay

The D&D Kre-0 line completely missed the point. Luckily, some in the LEGOmaniac community are working to correct this. Case in point, here is the Iron Builder D&D Mixels Contest!

Grey Riders

The otherworldly beings known only as 'Greys' are from a world with much less gravity than our own, and find prolonged walking or movement difficult. To compensate, some will choose a much stronger and larger humanoid to serve as a mount, a process that requires them cutting into the unfortunate's skull and implanting new cybernetic wiring. The victim's head is then encased in a control seat that allows the rider to sit comfortably, and control the mount's body as one might control exo-armour or a power walker. Those who have witnessed the process say that transformation appears to be intensely painful and is ultimately fatal to the mount as much of their head and grey matter is carved away in the process.

The rider has complete control of their mount, and can use it to walk, manipulate objects. They are quite common in grey hivecolonies. If forced to venture outside the colony the mount will usually be hidden under a long cloak and will be wearing at least light armour and armed with a thought-scrambler wand.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Movie Sucked, but the Monsters Were Cool

Just saw last year's Riddick movie. It was absolutely terrible. Like, really really terrible. And the whole 'Riddick cures lesbianism' thing? I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way. And the 'keep it warm for me' line at the end was so creepy it made me gag and pretty much guaranteed I'll never watch another Riddick film again. Which sucks because I really liked Pitch Black! I could write a lot more about how bad I thought the rest of the movie was, but in the end its really just my opinion. If you liked it, who am I to argue?
Love the Sackhoff! Hated this movie.
Still, the monsters of the riddickverse are interesting. Not the dingos-dongos. They were intensely generic and boring, but they might make a good visual or random encounter in a sci-fi game. Not in one of my games, but maybe in someone else's.  
Yep ... its just a dog. It was like they weren't even trying.
However, the bioraptors from the Pitch Black, and mud-demons from Riddick were actually pretty awesome. Both combined genuinely interesting, and alien (yet describable) characteristics.

Artist Link
Bioraptors / Night Raptors
Warrior Monster (Medium to Hit)
MSG: 5.3.3 (average size)
-Vulnerable to sunlight, does +5 Damage
Tail +4
Teeth +4
*All stats are for an average sized raptor. It can be found in larger and smaller versions. Smaller raptors swarm like locusts and can through their prey in seconds. 

Artist Link
Mud Demon
Warrior Monsters (Medium to Hit)
MSG: 5.3.4 (average size)
-Poison. If the mud demon makes a success hit and damage with its tale, make a Bod roll -2 or suffer a Grievous wound. For immature demons (1m long or less), the Bod roll is -4!
-At close range, gain two attacks per turn
-As their name implies, mud demons prefer to live in shallow water and/or marshy areas. They are never found far from water or deep mud.  
Stinger +3
Teeth +4
Kick/Claws +3
Skin -2
*All stats are for average sized demons. Both smaller and larger versions exist. As they grow, their poison becomes less toxic.